GT3 Jonny Adam/derek John­ston

Motor Sport News - - British Gt Preview - CREWS TO WATCH

As reign­ing cham­pion, Adam brings a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to TF Sport, although it’s un­clear as to whether the team re­ally needed it. Af­ter two straight pole po­si­tions and a one-two fin­ish in the Don­ing­ton Park fi­nale last year, TF is on a roll. “Hav­ing Jonny is a big boost as we’ve al­ready found ar­eas of the car to im­prove thanks to his feed­back,” says team head Tom Fer­rier. “We’re out for the ti­tle this year. We have to be, with this much driv­ing tal­ent on board.” For­mer cham­pion Jon Barnes is in the sec­ond car with Mark Farmer. Min­shaw and Keen are now one of the most ex­pe­ri­enced driver pair­ings on the grid. Hav­ing shared a Track­speed Porsche and a Bar­well BMW in re­cent years, the move to the Lambo cre­ates a new chal­lenge. There’s an ar­gu­ment that switch­ing cars each sea­son is a detri­ment as it re­sets the learn­ing process, but both driv­ers are bed­ded in well at Bar­well and both have the po­ten­tial to be the quick­est in their class. The sis­ter car will be rapid too, but with British star Alexan­der Sims only able to do half the sea­son along­side Liam Griffin – Fabio Babini will do the rest – Min­shaw/keen are likely to be more con­sis­tent. Bent­ley is back, and with the best chance of mak­ing an im­pact on its home shores than ever be­fore. When the Con­ti­nen­tal de­buted in 2014 it was a devel­op­ment car and re­sults were hard to come by. The Con­ti­nen­tal is now a proven race win­ner and British GT’S move to Pirelli tyres means Team Parker has ac­cess to stacks of rel­e­vant data. Parfitt has shown great pace in his short GT3 ca­reer and it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how GP3 con­vert Mor­ris adapts to both the style and tech­nique of sportscar rac­ing. Prob­a­bly not a can­di­date for race wins right away, but this en­try is ground­break­ing due to Lit­tler be­com­ing the first dis­abled driver in the cham­pi­onship’s his­tory. For­mer rally and VW Cup driver Lit­tler will race with a false leg, but with no mods to the Van­tage. “Due to it be­ing a se­quen­tial gear­box I have no clutch to use and I’m used to left-foot brak­ing from ral­ly­ing,” he says. “This sea­son is about show­ing how dis­abil­ity can be put be­hind you and get­ting on with things as nor­mal.”

TIME

1h54m16.1s +10.6s +56.4s +1m40.1s +2m07s +2m55.6s +4m36.1s +4m51.1s +5m52.2s +6m26.2s

SS1 Cairn­cas­tle (13.06 miles) Fastest Na­tional Derek Mc­gar­rity/barry Mcnulty (Ford Fi­esta WRC) 10m43s Fastest In­ter­na­tional Evans/parry 10m10.4s

wheel-drive com­peti­tor, Frank Kelly. Third in his beau­ti­fully turned out S2000-spec­i­fi­ca­tion Pro­ton Sa­tria was British Rally Cham­pi­onship man Ol­lie Mel­lors. He was el­i­gi­ble to score in BRC 1 with the fron­trun­ning cars on the In­ter­na­tional rally but had gam­bled – and saved money – by en­ter­ing the Na­tional rally.

Stage two – Knock­boy – was can­celled fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing an of­fi­cial’s ve­hi­cle, mean­ing crews were sent to the 19-mile Glens stage. Mc­gar­rity again set the pace de­spite the fore­casted wet weather start­ing to set in. Kelly, mean­while, re­tired close to the start when his Milling­ton en­gine cried enough. “All went well on the opener and then about 750 yards into stage three it all went quiet,” ex­plained Kelly.

That and a sec­ond best time moved Wes­ley Pat­ter­son up be­hind Mc­gar­rity, de­spite a bent ex­haust in­flicted over the bumps and jumps. Mel­lors also hit trou­ble with a spin, snap­ping the re­verse ca­ble. That meant he needed mar­shals’ help to get him point­ing back in the right di­rec­tion.

Another no­table mover was De­clan Mcnaughton, his knowl­edge of the North Antrim coun­try­side com­ing to good use, but he would even­tu­ally

Parfitt and Mor­ris bring a Bent­ley

Adam is with TF

Lit­tler’s Van­tage

Keen (left) and Jon Min­shaw

Pieni­azek pounced on the fi­nal day to take vic­tory

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